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Learners to be assessed to determine grasp of subjects

By Augustine Oduor | Jan 9th 2021 | 3 min read
Pupils observe Covid-19 guidelines by social distancing. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Education stakeholders say the prolonged closure of schools may have resulted in learning losses, which may be unearthed by the evaluation.

Over 30,000 schools have up to the end of next week to prepare children for mass assessments to evaluate learners’ understanding of subjects, 10 months after closure of schools.

The Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) said the Learning Continuity in Basic Education (LCBE) assessments should be administered two weeks after reopening.

“These assessments will be administered from January 18 to 22,” said Knec acting Chief Executive Officer Mercy Karogo.

The evaluation will be done barely two weeks after Monday’s reopening of schools that saw institutions adopt new norms occasioned by Covid-19.

Regular curriculum

Education stakeholders said the prolonged closure of schools may have resulted in learning losses, which may be unearthed by the assessments.

Dr Karogo said the learning assessments will cover Grade One-Three and Standard Five-Seven following the age-based or regular curriculum.

She said the assessments will also target foundation and intermediate levels for learners following the stage-based and special needs education pathways.

The details are contained in a circular dated December 29.

The learners’ assessment programme is part of the Sh1.5 billion Global Partnership for Education (GPE) boost towards the government’s schools reopening preparations.

It follows a similar one conducted for Grade Four learners and Standard Eight candidates late last year.

The Saturday Standard established that extending the mass assessment to cover the rest of the classes was ratified during a high-level meeting on Implementation Support Mission for the Kenya GPE-PRIEDE project.

The December 18 meeting held virtually was chaired by Ministry of Education Director General Elyas Abdi.

Top Ministry of Education officials and representatives from World Bank, United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and United States Agency for International Development (USAid) attended the meeting.

Knec said the development of tools for LCBE assessment for all classes is complete.

According to the plan, Grade One-Three will be assessed on fundamental literacy and numeracy ­– English activities, Kiswahili activities and Mathematics activities.

Knec said Standard Five and Six learners will be assessed on English, Kiswahili, Mathematics and Science, while Standard Seven learners will be assessed on all KCPE subjects.

“For all subjects or learning areas, assessment items will be drawn from previous classes/grades and Term One of the current class/grade,” said Karogo.

Knec said the development of tools for LCBE assessment for all classes is complete.

Identify strengths

This means for Standard Seven, for instance, learners will be assessed from Standard One-Six and Term One of Standard Seven.

Karogo said the assessments will identify strengths and weaknesses in learner acquisition of specific subject content and skills with a view to providing focused intervention.

She said the exercise will provide a baseline on which interventions towards improved learning outcomes during the post Covid-19 pandemic can be hinged.

“The overarching aim of the assessment is to inform on possible learning loss during the Covid-19 pandemic and suggest interventions to be put in place to address the learning gaps,” said Karogo.

Knec said the learning assessments will enhance teachers’ capacity in developing valid, reliable and efficient learning assessments at school level.

In the circular, Knec instructs schools to start registration and preparation of the learners ahead of the administration of the assessments.

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